I never realized that the stages of childhood development were so universal among children. Sure, we have all heard a preschooler in the midst of a toy battle yell out "mine!!!", but those of us in our first round of parenting might have mistaken that for a poorly behaved child that hasn't yet been taught to share.
Well, I guess it can be said that parenting is teaching me many things....and humility is one of them. Yesterday, as I reached out for something Caleb had (I believe it was my water), he jerks it away from me and firmly says, "Mine!!!". I believe I may have heard this 100 times since that late afternoon exclamation regarding various things from toys and food to anything he may have in his hand or sights. And, I guarantee you that we work on sharing, obedience, and all of those things an aspiring young parent hopes to impart.
I have noticed that these new developments tend to come in batches, so the next "first" we experienced was at bedtime last night. Jason had tucked Caleb into bed as usual and had left the room. Most of the time, Caleb will sing and talk for up to 1/2 hour until sleep finally overcomes him. (Sometimes he is still tucked in as originally placed, other times we have to completely rearrange his bed to get him settled when we go in to check on him.) This night, however, Caleb started crying out "Papa, close the door!!! Close the door!!" in a state of sheer panic. Mind you, a couple of months back, we had to change from closing the door to leaving it partially open because he didn't like it closed, so we both sort of looked at each other strangely that he would request it to be closed. Then we heard him explaining why.... "Papa, Papa, close the door because [sob, sob] the lions will get my toes!!! Close the door...the lions will get my toes [whine, sob, sob]" Both Jason and I smiled as we realized we had just witnessed the awakening of his little imagination in combination with his ability to communicate his thoughts and fears.
Today, then, as if to cement his newfound communication skills, I was getting the boys set up in their stroller for our normal weekday walk up at the Battle Ground Villiage construction site. It was a sunny late morning, so I asked Caleb if he wanted his sun hat. He says to me, "No, I'm just fine". A few seconds went by and he then said, "Thank you, though". Now, of course, that Mama just worried about the "mine" stage is feeling very gratified indeed, though I believe our next "mine" incident was only a few minutes later!
In the past few days, we have witnessed a new dawn in the life and development of our little Caleb. He is an infant no longer, and barely even a toddler. He is quickly becoming a little boy. We are now trying very hard to savor the last few rays from the sunset we are simultaneously experiencing from days past.
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze"